UNDER SATAN'S LEFT FOOT

The Foundational Questions Institute is running an essay contest, "What is Ultimately Possible in Physics?" Kindly visit and rate Uncle Al's entry, "Pursuing the Limits of Failed Symmetry." It is about fourth up from the bottom of the list. Thank you! (Be ethical - one organism, one vote.) Comprehensive voting instructions are at this page's end You must have Java scripts unblocked in your browser and firewall.

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/category/31416

Why do this thing? Once upon a time...

Young Marlon Brando was grizzly. His studio plugged actors into scripts, making movies and money. Grizzly Brando was a singing gangster in Guys and Dolls. The toughest US criminals were gelded in a Salvation Army meeting. A song said it all,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7kzsZreG0o
  in part,

I sailed away on that little boat to Heaven
And by some chance found a bottle in my fist,
And there I stood, nicely passin' out the whiskey,
But the passengers were bound to resist...
For the people all said, "Beware!
You're on a heavenly trip."
People all said, "Beware!
"Beware you'll scuttle the ship;"
And the Devil will drag you under
By the fancy tie 'round your wicked throat;
Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down,
Sit down you're rockin' the boat.

Physics is the toughest science. Physical theory has suffered 30 years of bad luck. Supergravity, lattice and loop quantum gravity, and above all string and M-theories predict nothing.

The universe and its mirror image should be identical. Deep symmetries from which theory evolves are "broken" in the real world. Look at your shoes.

Einstein's General Relativity (GR) assumes everything vacuum free falls identically: the Equivalence Principle (EP). Folks have examined everything from beryllium marbles to neutron stars. EP = true to at least one part in 20 trillion for all compositions of matter. Left and right shoes should obey. Alas, GR has a big brother with feet.

By 1931 German physicist Einstein plus mathematicians French Cartan and Dutch Weitzenböck supersized GR into teleparallel gravitation. It ignores the EP and has spacetime torsion not curvature. EP = true collapses its monstrous maths into GR. EP = false is also in there, for torsion is not mirror symmetric. GR could be wrong for a wicked footnote - opposite shoes fall differently.

EP violation by a pair of shoes is scorned by physics. Atomic mass distribution - structure not composition - is chemistry. Let's rock the boat! What are the best shoes to kick GR butt?

The difference between a pair of shoes is their atoms' relative positions in space (Petitjean (1999)). Chemistry agrees. Atoms in 3-space can be periodically arranged in exactly 230 different ways, the crystallographic space groups (Fedorov (1891), Schönflies (1891), Barlow (1894)). Six of those space groups are three pairs of perfectly opposite shoe boxes. Atoms packed inside each are pairs of perfectly opposite shoes.

PERFECTLY ENANTIOMORPHIC SPACE GROUPS
Space
Group
Uniform
Chirality
P31
P32
Right
Left
P3112
P3212
Right
Left
P3121
P3221
Right
Left

Quartz grows as a perfect pair of shoes, space groups P3121 and P3221. More than 1200 tonnes/year of high quality large single crystals are grown for electronics. A quartz crystal in each space group, opposite shoes, will together have no reason to obey the EP.

I loaded quartz in that balanced Eötvös rotor**
And by some chance found a signal in its chart,
And there it hung, rotor torquing out the scandal,
But the physicists all were loathe to take part...
For professors all said, "Beware!
You're on a gravity trip."
The profs all said, "Beware!
Keep your hands off scholarship."
And a chemist will drag you under
By the fancy shoes on his wicked feet.
Sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down,
Sit down you're rockin' the boat.

The Foundational Questions Institute is running an essay contest, "What is Ultimately Possible in Physics?" Kindly visit and rate Uncle Al's entry, "Pursuing the Limits of Failed Symmetry." It is about fourth up from the bottom of the list. Thank you! (Be ethical - one organism, one vote.)

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/category/31416

Stand up, rock the boat! Make the parity Eötvös experiment happen. Somebody should look.

Surf the FQXi link, or directly "Pursuing the Limits of Failed Symmetry". You must have Java scripts unblocked in your browser and firewall. Read the essay and click back. At the top as before, colored background, there is

Would you like to rate this essay?

Click on "rate this essay." A new and bigger colored zone appears. The second group is "Public voters". Activate it. Type in your e-mail address and click "go". "1" is totally awful, "10" is do the experiment!


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard Feynman. Do the experiment.
**An Eötvös rotor is ~6 cm diameter. Quartz crystal enantiomorphs have never been tested.
      A. Einstein, Annalen der Physik 49(7) 769-822 (1916)
      Teleparallelism
      M. Petitjean, "On the root mean square quantitative chirality and quantitative symmetry measures", J. Math. Phys. 40(9) 4587 (1999)
      AM Schönflies, Theorie der Kristallstruktur, Gëbrüder Bornträger, Berlin (1891)
      ES Fedorov, "Symmetry of Regular Systems of Figures", Zap. Mineral. Obch. 28(2) 1-146 (1891)
      W Barlow, W , "Über die geometrischen Eigenschaften starrer Strukturen und ihre Anwendung auf Kristalle", Z. Kristallogr. 23 1-63 (1894)


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